Lewd awak­en­ing

The Morning Call - - GO GUIDE - Amy Alkon

A guy I don’t know well sent me a creepy Face­book mes­sage with pervy lan­guage. Next, he mes­saged me a bunch of tantra memes — sex as a cel­e­bra­tion, blah, blah, blah. It grossed me out. Why would a guy think he can be so bla­tantly sex­ual out of nowhere? What should you say to a guy who does this? — Yuck

When a guy mes­sag­ing you starts sound­ing like Rumi or some other an­cient el­der, it’s usu­ally for good rea­son — like that he’s short on hookup part­ners and the mar­ket’s way be­hind in build­ing re­al­is­tic wash­able sex ro­bots.

It would be in­struc­tive for men who do this to con­sider sex dif­fer­ences in the ap­peal of un­so­licited gen­i­tal self­ies — sent, for ex­am­ple, by strangers on dat­ing sites. The Kin­sey In­sti­tute’s Justin Gar­cia re­ports that only 5% of women are aroused by un­so­licted pe­nis self­ies; the vast ma­jor­ity are just grossed out by them.

As for the re­cep­tion vagina self­ies get, a Los An­ge­les woman sent 37 men on a dat­ing site an un­so­licited vagina pic (not hers, one she found on the in­ter­net). Three men replied with shirt­less pix; seven sent mes­sages about what they’d like to do to the pic­tured vagina; eight asked for more pix; nine sent pe­nis self­ies; and one sent a video that the woman told Metro UK in­cluded “a, um, happy end­ing.”

The dif­fer­ence in men’s and women’s re­sponses to “down there” self­ies from strangers makes sense in light of how fe­male emo­tions seem to have evolved to pro­tect women from be­com­ing sin­gle moth­ers — get­ting knocked up and then ditched. Re­search by an­thro­pol­o­gist John Mar­shall Townsend sug­gests that fe­male emo­tions push women to look for signs of com­mit­ment from a man, even when they know they want noth­ing more than ca­sual sex with him. This, in turn, prob­a­bly leads many or most women to be put off by overt sex talk from a man — be­fore there seems to be an emo­tional con­nec­tion.

Yet, per­haps due to what an­thro­pol­o­gist Don­ald Sy­mons calls the hu­man ten­dency “to imag­ine that other minds are much like our own,” many men whip out the sex talk and the zip­per­wurst pix for women they barely know. If a guy who does this is some Tin­der rando, you can just block him. But when it’s a male friend or other guy you’d rather not cut off en­tirely, you need to be straight with him — like, “Dude, from now on, you gotta keep any mes­sages to­tally pla­tonic” — and be straight with him again if he tries again. (I mean, come on … if you wanted gross un­so­licited sex­ual com­ments, you’d wear a hal­ter top and booty shorts to 7-Eleven.)

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